If you told me the Spurs were not going to participate in the 2012 NBA Finals, I would have thrown something at you. The only solace I can take in my favorite team’s departure is watching the Thunder and Heat engage in a seven-game series. You have the prevailing narrative (Durant vs. LeBron) dominating the media. Delving deeper, I also find the supporting characters (Westbrook, Bosh, Wade, Ibaka, Harden) absolutely compelling, maybe even more so. There’s the concept of good vs. evil. And evil vs. evil (LeBron leaving Miami, Bennett leaving Seattle). And the burgeoning dynasty forming in Oklahoma City. And it’s pretty amazing that a guy averaging 26.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 49.6% shooting in the postseason is actually the second best player in the series. The Spurs may have let me down, but this series surely won’t. Prediction: Thunder in six.
The series everybody wanted. Or at least David Stern. This is going to be a great series, and guarantees either LeBron or Durant his first championship. I would love to say LeBron James can maintain that killer mentality he had when it counted for the Heat, but the Thunder are playing at a different level. Durant and James Harden are making impossible shots, the role guys are stepping up, and that is going to be problematic for Miami. They have their three guys who can score and make plays, but other than that, the Thunder are just too good. Brooks has shown he can adjust to anything, and if he can out-coach Popovich for four games, then what do you think he is going to do to Spoelstra? I don’t think it will be lopsided, but I just can’t see Miami stealing one in Oklahoma City, and in order to win this series, they have to somehow win in OKC. At this point, that seems impossible. Prediction: Thunder in six.